So if you know me really well, or even if you know me just a little bit, you know that I’m a hugger, and the most difficult thing about this pandemic for me is that I can’t hug anyone! Yes, it’s difficult wearing a mask, and I’m not loving the lockdown or the many Covid restrictions that have been in place for almost a year either, but the thing that’s really getting old is not being able to greet, or thank, or congratulate, or console anyone with a lingering hug. Thank goodness I have my wife and my kids to hug, although it’s at the point now that when my kids see me coming they run the other way because they know that the dozen or so stored up hugs from my day at work are heading straight for them.
I guess I never thought about how important hugs are in my life, and how much they positively affect my mood, well being and happiness. It shouldn’t be that surprising however, as there is loads of research around how hugging can help to reduce stress and improve a person’s physical and mental health. So without hugs, I’ve been looking for other ways to connect and communicate, and to show someone that I love or care for them, and for the most part it’s going okay, although the elbow bump isn’t giving me what I need.
As a matter of fact, I received a great book the other day as a birthday gift from my amazing wife, called While We Can’t Hug, and I ended up reading it to almost every kid and teacher in the Lower School. Reading it to kids was therapeutic for me, as I quickly found out that most of the kids and adults are suffering just like I am, and in desperate need of a little bit more human contact. Part of me thinks that the whole world is suffering due to the lack of hugs being shared, and even though I don’t have any scientific data to support this, I also believe that this has contributed to the troubling state of the world that we live in these days.
Human contact and human connection is a basic need, and without it we are starting to see the negative effects. Like the rest of you, I’m absolutely ready for this pandemic to end, and to get back to a world where I don’t have to “air-hug” the people that mean so much to me…or simple acquaintances for that matter. In the meantime, find ways to show people that you love them in other ways, and get your hugs where you can. Speaking of that, it’s time to go chase my kids around the house to get my quota for the day…they can’t get away from me! Have a wonderful week everyone, and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…
I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words – Ann Hood
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